1968–69 Cincinnati Royals season

The 1968–69 NBA season was the Royals 21st season in the NBA and 12th season in Cincinnati.[1] The season was noteworthy for the team's fast start, in which the team was 15–6 by the end of November. But the team faded in the second half, failing to make the playoff cut in the tough Eastern Division.

1968–69 Cincinnati Royals season
Head coachEd Jucker
OwnersMax Jacobs
Jeremy Jacobs
ArenaCincinnati Gardens
Results
Record41–41 (.500)
PlaceDivision: 5th (Eastern)
Playoff finishDid not qualify

Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
TelevisionWLWT
RadioWLW
< 1967–68 1969–70 >

RosterEdit

Roster listing
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
C 24 Dierking, Connie 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 222 lb (101 kg) Cincinnati
SF 15 Foster, Fred 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Miami (OH)
F 21 Hetzel, Fred 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Davidson
F/C 16 Lucas, Jerry 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Ohio State
PG 14 Robertson, Oscar 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 205 lb (93 kg) Cincinnati
G 10 Smith, Adrian 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 180 lb (82 kg) Kentucky
SF 5 Van Arsdale, Tom 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 202 lb (92 kg) Indiana
C 13 Wesley, Walt 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Kansas
Head coach

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  •   Injured

Regular seasonEdit

The regular season opened on the road October 16, 1968 against the brand-new Atlanta Hawks, which had just relocated from St. Louis. The Royals won 125–110 behind a balanced attack featuring a rotation of stars Oscar Robertson, Connie Dierking, Jerry Lucas, Adrian Smith, John Tresvant, Tom Van Arsdale and Walt Wesley. The Royals won their first three straight, including their home opener over Detroit on October 19 at Cincinnati Gardens arena. After a pair of losses, Cincinnati won their next six straight, bringing their record to a 9–2 start by November 12. Their 126–115 win over the 10-4 Baltimore Bullets that day gave them the best record in the league. The team went evenly through wins and losses before winning six more in a row in early December, bringing their record to 20–9 by December 15. Two wins in the team's second home, Cleveland Arena, were part of that streak. The December 15th win was another ' road ' home game played in Omaha, Nebraska, a site favored by team General Manager Joel Axelson. The win on the 15th put them in a tie for third-best record in the NBA with the Boston Celtics at 20–9, just behind Baltimore and the Philadelphia 76ers. It also prompted a Sports Illustrated article in their 12/09/1968 issue, ' Serious Contenders In A Funny City ', written by Frank Deford, which left-handedly praised the team, and harshly criticized the city's sports fans and management. The team soon faded after the article, going 21–32 the rest of the season to finish fifth in the East at .500, out of the 1969 NBA playoffs. Their record was better than the 37–45 mark of the Western Division San Diego Rockets, who did make those playoffs.

Season standingsEdit

Eastern Division W L PCT GB Home Road Neutral Div
x-Baltimore Bullets 57 25 .695 29–9 24–15 4–1 26–14
x-Philadelphia 76ers 55 27 .671 2 26–8 24–16 5–3 23–17
x-New York Knicks 54 28 .659 3 30–7 19–20 5–1 26–14
x-Boston Celtics 48 34 .585 9 24–12 21–19 3–3 23–17
Cincinnati Royals 41 41 .500 16 15-13 16–21 10–7 20–20
Detroit Pistons 32 50 .390 25 21–17 7–30 4–3 13–27
Milwaukee Bucks 27 55 .329 30 15–19 8–27 4–9 7–29

Record vs. opponentsEdit

1968-69 NBA Records
Team ATL BAL BOS CHI CIN DET LAL MIL NYK PHI PHO SDR SFW SEA
Atlanta 2–4 3–3 6–1 4–2 6–0 3–4 4–2 2–4 1–5 6–0 3–4 4–3 4–2
Baltimore 4–2 5–2 6–0 4–3 7–0 3–3 5–1 3–4 2–4 6–0 5–1 3–3 4–2
Boston 3–3 2–5 4–2 5–2 5–1 2–4 5–1 1–6 5–2 6–0 4–2 3–3 3–3
Chicago 1–6 0–6 2–4 1–5 3–3 3–4 5–1 2–4 1–5 4–2 3–3 4–3 4–3
Cincinnati 2–4 3–4 2–5 5–1 3–4 2–4 5–1 4–2 3–4 4–2 2–4 3–3 3–3
Detroit 0–6 0–7 1–5 3–3 4–3 3–3 2–4 3–4 3–4 4–2 3–3 2–4 4–2
Los Angeles 4–3 3–3 4–2 4–3 4–2 3–3 5–1 5–1 1–5 6–0 7–0 4–3 5–1
Milwaukee 2–4 1–5 1–5 1–5 1–5 4–2 1–5 0–6 0–6 6–2 4–2 3–3 3–5
New York 4–2 4–3 6–1 4–2 2–4 4–3 1–5 6–0 4–3 5–1 3–3 5–1 6–0
Philadelphia 5–1 4–2 2–5 5–1 4–3 4–3 5–1 6–0 3–4 5–1 4–2 2–4 6–0
Phoenix 0–6 0–6 0–6 2–4 2–4 2–4 0–6 2–6 1–5 1–5 1–7 2–4 3–3
San Diego 4–3 1–5 2–4 3–3 4–2 3–3 0–7 2–4 3–3 2–4 7–1 3–3 3–3
San Francisco 3–4 3–3 3–3 3–4 3–3 4–2 3–4 3–3 1–5 4–2 4–2 3–3 4–3
Seattle 2–4 2–4 3–3 3–4 3–3 2–4 1–5 5–3 0–6 0–6 3–3 3–3 3–4
x – clinched playoff spot

Player statisticsEdit

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Zaid Abdul-Aziz
Connie Dierking 82 31.0 .430 .762 9.0 2.7 16.3
Bill Dinwiddie 69
Fred Foster
Pat Frink
Fred Hetzel
Jerry Lucas 74 41.6 .551 .755 18.4 4.1 18.3
Oscar Robertson 79 43.8 .486 .838 6.4 9.8 24.7
Doug Sims
Adrian Smith 73
John Tresvant 51 33.0 .450 8.2
Al Tucker
Tom Van Arsdale 77 39.7 .444 .747 2.7 19.4
Walt Wesley 82

There was no 3-point line in use this season, blocks and steals were not yet kept NBA statistics.

Awards and recordsEdit

  • Oscar Robertson, All-NBA First Team
  • Robertson and Jerry Lucas were each named starters to the Eastern squad for the 1969 NBA All-Star Game. Tom Van Arsdale would make the All Star Team the following season.

TransactionsEdit

  • February 1, 1969 : starter John Tresvant was traded to Seattle for Al Tucker.

ReferencesEdit